27 April 2009

AstroMag Article Response

After reading the excellent new issue of the AstroMag, I felt somewhat inspired and uplifted by the first article, entitled "40K in 2009: the Big Picture." The author brings out excellent points that quite frankly, as gamers in a niche market, we're complaining far too much about a company that in the grand scheme of things is pretty stinking small. They're running 3 popular miniatures games systems with a staff of 77 creative developers total. In other words, there are video game studios with a higher number of creative staff. They're doing their best, so pipe down and enjoy your hobby. That was the general idea of the article. I agree with this for the most part, but there is one statement that I take issue with, and I will quote it for you now:

"In a hobby advertised not through mass marketing but rather through word of mouth, it is imperative that our words and our corresponding actions support Games Workshop in every decision they make."

In every decision they make? No, I don't think so. For example, I don't think that dropping Imperial Guardsmen troops from 20 to 10 troops in a box is a great decision. Does it make some amount of business sense? Sure, but charging the same price for half the models is a bit extreme, in my opinion. Yeah, the world economy is in bad shape, but I think that this may push all but the most driven of potential Guard players away to an extent, minimizing the number of Guard horde armies. This leads to a generally stale set of army list composition. While I agree that we need to be positive about the game and most certainly its developers, if we ever stop questioning decisions completely and letting GW know about our concerns in an intelligent, irenic fashion they will begin to make more and more decisions without consumer feedback, which is important to any business. So ultimately, if we give our complaints the right vehicle, they do matter.

I suppose that that is the real point of the article: vent your spleen to the right person in the right venue. It does no good to complain to your buddy about a decision GW makes, let your concerns be known to GW in a civilized manner if you want to get a decent answer. The answer may not be one you like, but they are much more likely to give you a good reason if your complaint isn't along the lines of "OMG, u r teh suxxor!!!!1! Brng bak teh infnite asslts whit teh corn brzrkrs lol!" And for goodness sake, if you're trying to bring a new player into the game, don't constantly complain about GW in front of them. That's just going to scare them off, decreasing your number of potential opponents.

Overall, I definitely agree with the author of "Big Picture" for the most part, but I would say that you should never forget that if you're going to complain, there is a proper time and place to do so. Remember, words do have a great amount of power, so be careful what you say, and to whom.

2 comments:

Michael said...

Good points all around.

oni said...

It was a fantastic article, though I thought it fell apart in the conclusion. Never the less it made a very good point. One that I think all GW fans need to read and take a note or three.

"make more and more decisions without consumer feedback"

This is one of many reasons General Motors has failed as a company and I would hate to see GW fail because of this also. I agree with you that we need to give them feedback and do it in a manner that they'll listen rather than write us off as whiny little brats.